If two reports, one private and one governmental, are to be believed, Canada’s federal government is shorted to the tune of fifty billion dollars a year in taxes that don’t get collected. This loss includes aggressive tax evasion and questionable offshoring of assets. Ouch!
For starters, ten per cent of that money would get a nice housing program off the runway pretty quick.
Two features from well-regarded Canadian magazines about how we might produce cash for things of public good:
Canada is ready for toll roads and carbon taxes. A majority of voters now favour user fees, but cowardly politicians are getting in the way
Ontario is proving that taxing the one per cent works. Despite decades of tax cut rhetoric, you really can ask the rich to pay more taxes. Ontario did, and high-priced talent didn’t flee the province
image: Marc Falardeau via Flickr/CC
So, here’s a bright idea from Sweden designed to cut carbon emissions, resource consumption and garbage production. We think it might be a poverty fighter as well. Basically, Swedes should soon see a worthwhile tax break to fix their stuff. Those with a sense of thrift should get a lift from this policy. Canada needs this.
Waste not want not: Sweden to give tax break for repairs
image: TomD. via Flickr/CC
image: surveying instruments via Library & Archives Canada
Canada’s federal Tories have gone after a variety of activist/non-profit groups by throwing costly, distracting audits at them. Overspending on political activity seemed to be the justification. A much ignored “snitch-line” and hours of accounting effort later it turns out there’s not much to see. Probably its safe to say the Harper Conservatives just don’t like what the targeted groups are saying. This piece from Press Progress contrasts the Robocop-like eagerness of the feds when it comes to bean counting the non-profits and their disinterest in the questionable approaches of large corporations and the wealthy to tax avoidance through overseas money-stashing.
image: beans by Amada44 via Wikimedia Commons
image: Ferris wheel by David Monniaux via Wikimedia Commons
Did you ever notice that articles about offshore corporate and private tax havens seem to always be accompanied by an image of a beautiful sandy beach in a tropical paradise? It’s as if our money has made a killing and gone off to early retirement, with nothing to do now but live like a king and laze away each timeless day in a warm and happy place, free of such mundane horrors as having to be somebody’s boring old pay cheque or essential public service. Must be a nice life. Indeed, it is …and to the tune of one hundred and seventy billion dollars and about a quarter of Canada’s foreign investment.
Corporate tax avoidance ‘scheme’ hurting Canada, expert says. Country’s corporate tax rate sits at about 25 per cent
CBC News with 25 minute audio & other links
Canadian Business magazine asks why are some of the largest corporations paying so little tax and getting help from the government to keep it that way? Five percent tax for the likes of Canadian Pacific Railway? Is this country being run by a load of Tories or something?